Building While the Nations Rage
WHAT IS THE TEXT SAYING
I. Builders of Gates and Walls (3:1-32)
B.All walks of life.
1. Men and women
2. Clergy and lay people
3. Ruling class and working class
4.All different trades
C.Most important they were shoulder to shoulder
1.Every Christian has a ministry and we are one.
II. The Nations Rage (4:1-4)
A.Why was Sanballat so angry? (v.1)
B.ILLUSTRATION of Middle School (v.2)
1.Sanballat argues that they have not realized how much it is going to take
to rebuild the walls and gates.
2.Sanballat points out their past failures
C.Tobiah argues that if a fox were to run onto it, it would collapse. Mocking
their ability to build a wall. Most likely because perfumers are building it. (v.3)
D.Nehemiah prays (v.4) COMPARISON OF WHAT WE WOULD HAVE DONE
1. How is this prayer loving?
III.The Peoples Plot in Vain (4:6-14)
A.They are having success. So we built the wall! (v.6)
B.Their success makes their enemies grow more angry (v.7)
C.Their enemies move from verbal threats to physical threats. (v.8)
D.They prayed and they took action (v.9)
E.The people lose heart, the newness has worn off, they are too far from
completion to gain excitement of completion, and the enemies are starting to
steal their joy. (v.10)
F. Enemies plan secret attack to kill them and stop the work. (v. 11)
G.Discouragement from the inside. (v.12)
1.People that invest little are often the ones that cause the most trouble.
2. They desired comfort and have too much time on their hands.
3. We see discouragement from the outside and discouragement on the
H.Nehemiah encourages them my reminding them of a great God and who
they were protecting, those that they love. (v.13-14)
IV.Spears and Shovels (4:15-23)
A.Spears in one hand shovels in the other (v.15-17)
1. Good application to our church and our marriages.
B.Nehemiah is totally committed and puts his faith totally in God who will fight
for them. (v.18-20)
C.Always prepared. (v.21-23)
WHAT IS THE TEXT TEACHING US
The truth, goodness, and beauty of God on display in the Gospel is worth
more than our petty causes, more than our personal luxuries and advantages,
and more than our very lives.
HOW DOES THE TEXT POINT US TO JESUS
Who is the Bad Guy of this Passage?
Who is the Hero of this Passage?
Who are we in this passage?
Who is the Ultimate Hero of this Passage?
WHAT CHANGES MONDAY BECAUSE WE ENCOUNTERED GOD’S WORD
Are there things in your life that you fear? Take action! Are there
doubts lurking in your mind about your ability to do what God has called
you to do? Take your eyes off your inability and fix them on the One for whom
nothing is impossible.
Let me be specific: meditate on the way that God is more powerful than your
sinful urges and more powerful than your wicked opponents. As you think on
that, take action against the enemies of the gospel by calling on God to do justice
against them. As you fill your mind with God’s greatness and fill your mouth with
prayer, recognize how the sin that tempts you would crush those you love in its
iron jaws, grinding them in tis merciless evil. Flee temptation. Fight the good
fight. Set your mind on Christ. Be courageous.
Do you live for a cause greater than yourself? Do you lay your life
down for those you love? Do you fix your mind on Christ, the perfect man?
Do you lead by example?
– Why do you think Nehemiah answered the scoffers in 2:20 but did not respond to them in chapter 4?
– In Nehemiah’s day, Sanballat and Tobiah were mocking those rebuilding the wall. Now God’s people are striving to advance His kingdom. What form does mocking from our enemies take today?
– Nehemiah prayed that God would not allow unrepentant sin to go unpunished. Against whom and against what would we pray if we were to follow Nehemiah’s example today? How might grace come into play in these situations?
– Nehemiah led the people to set a guard against the enemies day and night (v4:9). What should God’s people be on guard against day and night today?
– In 4:12 other jews were discouraging those at work on the walls. How do Christians discourage other Christians today? Are there any ways that you yourself might discourage other Christians?
– Why did Nehemiah redouble his defenses and rebuilding efforts in the face of discouragement (v.4:13)? What were his other options? Why was taking action his best option?
– How might you direct the eyes of others to the great and awe-inspiring Lord, as Nehemiah did (v.4:14)?
– In 4:16-17 the people work with a weapon in one hand and a tool in the other. If God’s people were to follow this example today, what would be analogous to the weapon, and what would be analogous to the tool?
– In a military battle, sometimes leaders direct the action from the rear, and sometimes they place themselves at the point of crisis, as Nehemiah did (4:18-20). Which should a leader do in the kinds of spiritual battles a church faces?
– What are ways that the leader of a church might model sacrificial devotion, as Nehemiah did in 4:20, 23?